Pro Calls 10 Shot Penalty On Himself After Golf Ball Mix Up

Mark Hensby accidentally used one of Pat Perez's golf balls for five holes at the Palmetto Championship

Pro Calls 10 Shot Penalty On Himself After Golf Ball Mix Up
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Hensby accidentally used one of Pat Perez's golf balls for five holes at the Palmetto Championship

Pro Calls 10 Shot Penalty On Himself After Golf Ball Mix Up

Australian pro Mark Hensby had a nightmare opening round at the Palmetto Championship after accidentally using a competitor's golf ball for five holes.

Hensby picked up one of Pat Perez's golf balls on the putting green and inadvertently used it for five holes before noticing.

The Aussie took it out of his bag after finding water on the 4th hole and only realised five holes later that it was Perez's ball, which we assume was a Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, a ball with a slightly different spin profile and a small dash marking.

He received a two-stroke penalty for each hole he used the ball.

The rule ensures players do not use different types of golf balls during the same round in terms of spin characteristics and compression.

“I asked my caddie, ‘Hey what's this dot on the ball? I've never noticed this before; did they do something with the new pro V1?’” Hensby told PGATour.com.

“And he didn’t know, so I asked my playing partners and they were like, ‘That's a low spin ball.’

"Now I don't use this ball, so there was a lot of confusion where it came from – none of my others had the dot – but we knew I had played the wrong ball.”

He was two-over-par after eight holes but quickly fell to 12-over, before playing the final 10 holes in one-over and signing for an 84.

Hensby withdrew after the opening round in just his second start on the PGA Tour this year.

“Somehow I picked up one of Pat’s balls and he ended up with one of mine,” Hensby said.

“I only found this out because Titleist wanted to get to the bottom of it. I thought they had a wrong ball in the sleeve that I had.

“If you look at both balls it's hard to know the difference.

“It's not like one is black and one is red. They're both black, but one has a small dot on it and one doesn't. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that. I’m glad he didn’t use mine.”

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Honma TR20B

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x